Business Briefs

Reported by Star-Bulletin staff & wire

Tuesday, April 27, 1999

Park Place antes up $3 bil for Caesars

NEW YORK -- Park Place Entertainment Corp., the world's largest gaming company, is offering $3 billion in cash to acquire Caesars World Inc., the most recognized name in the casino business.

Park Place, created last year when Hilton Hotels spun off its gambling operations, will add to its cache of glitzy casino hotels the flagship Caesars Palace in Las Vegas, Caesars Atlantic City and Caesars Tahoe, as well as other properties. The seller, Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide Inc., is disposing of Caesars to focus on its hotel business, which includes the Sheraton and St. Regis/Luxury Collection.

America Online beats expectations

DULLES, Va. -- America Online Inc.'s fiscal third-quarter profit beat analysts' forecasts as the No. 1 online service gained new subscribers at a record pace and revenue surged 55 percent.

Profit from operations was $117 million, or 11 cents a share, for the quarter ended March 31, compared with profit of $39 million, or 4 cents a share, in the year-earlier quarter. Those results exclude Netscape Communications Corp., which AOL bought in March. AOL was expected to have a 9 cents-a-share profit, according to the average forecast of analysts polled by First Call Corp.

America Online's subscriber base surged to nearly 17 million during the quarter as more personal-computer users used the online service to access the Internet for the first time. As AOL gains more subscribers, it gets more revenue from advertising and marketing partnerships because more businesses are willing to pay up to reach AOL's membership base.

In other news . . .

NEW YORK -- Consumer confidence, a key indicator of future economic activity, rose for the sixth straight month in April, the Conference Board reported today. The business-financed study group reported its consumer confidence index rose nearly a full point to 134.9 from a revised 134 in March, a stronger performance than Wall Street expected.

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